Binge and Repeat: Hulu’s horror anthology ‘Monsterland’ poses questions about monsters
Hulu’s new series “Monsterland” is an anthology of horrific tales that asks viewers to decide if the monster is real or if the monster is human.
In each episode a different cast of characters faces some sort of hardship while also having an encounter with a supernatural element. Be it bodysnatchers, mermaids, angels or demons, the series will leave viewers with chills and pondering their preconceived notions about monsters.
The series itself is unsettling and eerie instead of being excessively gory and packed with jump scares like many different horror series. If viewers are like me and not typically a huge fan of horror (although I am partial to “The Haunting of Hill House”), they can still find themselves sucked into the series.
As viewers, “Monsterland” asks us to question not only who are the real monsters but also how people can become monsters by asserting their desires and wills over another.
Kaitlyn Dever is the one recurring character throughout the series. The anthology opens with her character Toni, a single mother living in a small, forgotten town in Louisiana, who finds herself raising a particularly difficult child. Toni’s daughter is prone to attacking people and fails to listen to her mother. Toni feels trapped in her life as she tries to care for her tricky child while working a thankless job at a dusty roadside diner. When a stranger comes along with an offer that has the potential to change Toni’s life or perhaps end it, the waitress is faced with a curious opportunity.
The ensemble cast is absolutely phenomenal as the actors bring a menagerie of emotions and terror to life through their performances. Standout cast members include Roberta Colindrez, Nicole Behari, Mike Colter, Kelly Marie Tran and Trieu Tran who each find a way to reel in the viewer and ensnare them in their respective character’s disturbing tale.
While the series itself is populated with more people than monsters, some viewers might find it best to watch the series with the lights on.
Episode length: 1 hour
TV rating: TV-MA
Similar series: The Haunting of Bly Manor
“Monsterland” has one season available on Hulu and it is rated TV-MA. Viewers should note the series does deal with difficult issues including suicide, sexual assault and the lose of a child. Viewers looking for more chills might also enjoy Netflix’s new series “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” which features the same cast from “The Haunting of Hill House.”